The main annal winter event on the Riviera is one of the largest carnivals (Carnaval in French) in the world, offering a programme of unforgettable entertainment lasting more than two weeks and proving that no one can put on a stylish party quite like the French.
Escape the winter gloom with the famous Nice carnival which will host colourful parades, entertainment from over 1,000 musicians and dancers from around the world and fantastic flower displays.
These giant, colourful parades take place day and night, dazzling colours, street theatre and music groups from all over the world, huge paper mache models which tower over the crowds, this is a world class carnival. The vibrant carnival atmosphere means the city is humming to the rhythm as more than a million people arrive to enjoy the magic, forget the dull days of winter and take in the sun on the French Riviera. By night the illuminated floats – the Corso Illuminé – and evening parades light up the heart of Nice (Tuesday and Saturday nights) – always a spectacular sight.
In a unique setting, on the Promenade des Anglais, the elegant “flower battles” are part of the carnival not to be missed. On floats decorated with the most stunning floral compositions, extravagantly dressed characters throw out sweet smelling mimosas, gerberas, roses and lilies to the enthusiastic crowd – the battle is to catch the flowers. The first Flower Parade was held in 1876 and has grown in popularity year or year, these days 90% of the flowers used are grown locally and the sight of these magnificent floats along the promenade between the Théâtre de Verdure and the Hotel Negresco is simply unforgettable.
Each Carnival represents an original short lived production. Being a Carnavalier is not a profession, but a passion or a vocation. The large workshop where these craftsmen work, called the “Maison du Carnaval” is transformed into a magical setting for several months. The results will amaze you.
This event is unique in the world and places the Nice Carnival in the top carnivals worldwide. Noisy, vibrant, streets thronging with swarms of people who spray “silly string” and throw confetti, crowds battling to catch flowers and present them to loved ones, street food vendors tempting you with delicious smells – its happy time with a capital H!
Exotic, exciting and intoxicating, Nice Carnival won’t fail to bring out the reveller in you!
Further details and information about the Nice Carnival, ticket prices and programme times from the Nice Tourism website